NewsVideos Of Inspiring Black Male Teachers Highlight Representation

Videos Of Inspiring Black Male Teachers Highlight Representation

Part of the reason for the high turnover rate among Black male teachers is that teachers are notoriously underpaid relative to their education level.

“In my school, 45 percent of the student population is African American. So I have a lot of young Black men in my class. When they look up to me whether it’s because of who I am, what I do in the classroom or how I carry myself it’s a lot easier for them to reach that role model.”

Bowen continued, saying that he takes his responsibility to represent Black male teachers as a serious charge, “It makes it real. I can count on one hand how many black teachers I had growing up, let alone Black male teachers and those black male teachers that I did have became role models.”

Bowen also told the outlet that one of the most rewarding aspects of the job for him is the ability to impact his Black students’ lives positively. Bowen is acutely aware that he learns from his students, even while he is teaching them. It is this relationship that has earned him their respect and the title of his students favorite science teacher. 

As The Root reports, a Black male teacher recently went viral due to his efforts to calm crying children in his classroom. Some, like reporter Angela Johnson, called attention to his dress, noting that he wasn’t dressed like Mr. Rogers, instead, the teacher had on a sleeveless shirt and wore a pair of white glasses. Like Bowen, this hints that this teacher most likely feels like he can show up as himself at work, and that carries through to how he interacts with the children in a now viral video.

As he notices some of the children are upset, he gets down to their level, he doesn’t stand above them. In a calm and reassuring tone, he says to a few children who are crying, “In order for me to hear you, you have to stop crying because I want to hear what you have to say. Do you want me to help?”

The teacher continues his efforts to calm the young children, “When you’re supposed to be listening, turn on your listening ears and listen,” he said. “Because when you want to do something, you’re going to want your teacher to listen to you, right?”

Eventually, the children relent, listen to the seemingly patient teacher, and stop crying. 

Black male teachers are often expected to take on more labor, such as counseling or otherwise disciplining children in ways that other teachers are not, as Sterling Grimes, a manager of strategy, talent, and culture for Teach For America’s D.C. region, told TFA. “Kids were sent to my room because I was the teacher who could discipline them,” Grimes said. “I experienced what it was like to have to be responsible for that and have to be accountable to making sure that these students were supported and taken care of and held accountable and shielded, sometimes from really unfortunate circumstances that we know play out in schools.”

Gresham continued, “We also know that Black teachers can be critical disruptors to our historically inequitable educational system and powerful role models and advocates for Black students and for all students. The BEP Initiative is helping ensure that Black students, and every student, can benefit from the unique value of having a Black teacher.”

RELATED CONTENT: Non-Profit Recruits Black Male Educators To Boost Men’s Presence And Leadership In The School System

Source: Black Enterprise

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